Sears Takes on Retailing's "Last Frontier"

Implements business intelligence software from AIS to improve allocation decisions, optimize inventory levels

Implements business intelligence software from AIS to improve allocation decisions, optimize inventory levels

Boulder, CO — January 4, 2005 — Sears, Roebuck and Co. has implemented business intelligence software from Applied Intelligence Solutions (AIS) in a bid to improve what it considers to be one of the last frontiers in retailing — merchandise allocation.

The retail giant enlisted the help of AIS to improve the quality of its allocation decisions. Sears will use the provider's AllocationXpert solution to help optimize merchandise allocations to all stores, with the goals of providing the right quantity of merchandise to the right stores to fuel sales and reduce markdowns.

"At Sears, we are continually searching for innovative solutions that will allow us to streamline the merchandise planning process, make smarter allocation decisions and monitor inventory to meet consumer demand," said Jeff Jones, executive vice president of Sears' merchandise operations. "AllocationXpert's ability to add intelligence to our existing system was a perfect fit. The software has already demonstrated its ability to make recommendations similar to our top performing allocators, which has allowed us to achieve improvements."

AIS said that AllocationXpert complements Sears' existing allocation system by introducing "successful past performance" into the allocation equation. This software leverages the best practices of Sears' top allocators to recommend distributions similar to what these seasoned professionals would do in similar situations.

AIS' Professional Services Group worked with the Sears to identify the critical variables in Sears' allocation process and tightly couple the benefits of AIS' business intelligence software with the retailer's existing allocation systems. AIS then "trained" the system to reflect Sears' distinctive merchandising environment.

"AIS' Professional Services Group has been instrumental in helping us to get the most from AllocationXpert," said Steve Poplawski, vice president of integrated merchandise planning and placement at Sears. "Their ability to effectively collaborate with our team and quickly adapt the system to our unique business needs is a testament to AIS' capabilities and the power of their advanced software."

"We are delighted to have Sears as an AllocationXpert customer," said Jim Dixon, president and CEO of AIS. "Our software enables Sears to optimize their allocation results while protecting the investment the company has made in their existing allocation systems and processes. As a result, AllocationXpert can help Sears to rapidly improve the quality of allocation decisions in their existing environments."